Ushuaia – Antarctica – Valparaíso
This expedition takes you from Antarctica to the highlights of the South American coast. Experience the magnificent wilderness of Antarctica, then sail via the legendary Cape Horn to discover scenic national parks, see the rich wildlife of Patagonia, and cruise the Chilean fjords. Enjoy spending time ashore, kayaking, and hiking and experiencing close encounters with penguins, birds, and seals.

  • Experience Patagonia and Antarctica on one expedition
  • Visit Torres del Paine National Park
  • Sail into the Chilean fjords and see Cape Horn
  • Enjoy kayaking, hiking, and seeing wildlife up close in Antarctica

 

Exploring the White Continent
After joining MS Fram in Ushuaia, we will cross the unpredictable Drake Passage to reach the mighty frozen wilderness of the south. Once in Antarctic, we will attempt to land several places to see the penguins, seals, whales, and seabirds that give life to this beautiful landscape. Our excursions will allow you to get close to wildlife, and even kayak in the spectacular icy waters. On board our comfortable ship, you can hear presentations by experts on Antarctica’s rich history, biology, and other popular scientific topics to get even more out of your extraordinary journey. Then we cross the Drake Passage again (and by this time, you will have found your sea-legs)

Travel period: March 1st, 2020

Duration: 20 days

DAY 1
Explore the `Birthplace of Tango´
Location : Buenos Aires, Argentina
Your expedition starts with an overnight stay in Buenos Aires, the bustling capital of Argentina. We offer an optional city tour in the afternoon. Spend the evening at your leisure and discover the «Paris of South America» for yourself.

DAY 2
Embarking the Expedition
Location : Buenos Aires/Ushuaia
The following day, you fly to Ushuaia. The flight leaves Buenos Aires early in the morning, allowing you a few hours to explore Ushuaia or to join an optional excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park, before embarking on MS Fram. In the evening, we will sail through the scenic Beagle Channel.

DAY 3
Crossing the Fabled Drake Passage
Location : At Sea
MS Fram takes us safely across the famous Drake Passage. The voyage from the Antarctic Peninsula to the southern tip of Argentina is roughly 600 miles or 40 hours sailing time in good weather. During the voyage south, the Expedition Team will prepare you for your exploration of Antarctica through a series of informative lectures, demonstrations and equipment issue. The excitement builds with each passing hour as we strain to see the first iceberg! Familiarize yourself with our expedition vessel and take advantage of all the facilities on board.

DAY 4-8
The White Wonder that is Antarctica
Location : Antarctica
This unending, white wilderness is full of overwhelming impressions on a grand scale. The elements rule in Antarctica, so weather, wind and ice conditions will influence our program. Your experienced Expedition Team will select the best possible landing sites to create unforgettable experiences, and take advantage of the long hours of daylight. We will attempt to land at sites on the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Flexibility allows us to take advantage of the unexpected, and wildlife will be at the forefront of our plans.

Located in the South Shetlands, Half Moon Island is nestled in a glaciated bay and is home to noisy chinstrap penguins. We might call at the gentoo penguin rookeries on Cuverville Island and cruise through scenic Neko Harbor. We hope to sail through the incomparable Lemaire Channel and take on the challenging hike on Petermann Island to be rewarded with panoramic views. If weather permits, we will call on Port Lockroy, an old British base with a museum. Sailing through the Antarctic Sound offers spectacular views of tabular icebergs and glacial landscapes, and Brown Bluff has amazing rock formations. Our sturdy PolarCirkel boats will enable us to go ashore almost anywhere to truly explore bays and channels. The Expedition Team will guide you, always ensuring we don’t disturb local wildlife.

Our excursions offer you the chance to experience Antarctica with all your senses. Kayak in untouched waters with icebergs floating by, hike up snowy pathways to spectacular views, listen to the sounds of glaciers calving or penguins squabbling, spend the night on deck or in a tent on this remote and untouched continent, or for the most daring, take the polar plunge swim. Every day will be different and each will be carefully designed by our Expedition Team to create lasting memories.

DAY 9-10
Sailing North
Location : At Sea
Sailing northbound across the Drake Passage is chance to re-cap on all we have seen, smelled and heard in Antarctica. The Expedition Team will continue their lecture program to prepare you for the delights ahead. Enjoy priming your knowledge about the history and wildlife of the area. Make sure to spend some time on deck to enjoy the fresh sea air and look out for wildlife.

DAY 11
Cape Horn
Location : At Sea
If conditions allow, we will make an attempt to land on Cape Horn – the southernmost tip of South America. (Going ashore can be very difficult because of the sometimes-extreme weather in this area). This is the southernmost point of South America at almost 56 degrees south, marking the boundary between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the northern end of the Drake Passage. The region is of great historical significance for the development of exploration and trade routes. If we anchor off Cape Horn, you will be able to go ashore to explore this barren and romantic headland at the very end of the world. Next, we will sail on to the sheltered waters of the Beagle Channel.

DAY 12
A Paradise for Nature Enthusiasts
Location : Chilean Fjords
The Chilean fjords’ deep channels, fjords and mountains plunging into the icy water always leave a profound impression on visitors. This wild and remote area seems almost untouched by humans. The ice has scoured its way between the mountains, creating the isolated islands and hidden bays that form the unique fjord landscape of Chile. Snow-capped mountains and steep valleys make a striking contrast to a lush coastline that is rich in wildlife. You might be lucky enough to spot sea lions, Andean condors and several bird species that can only be found here.

DAY 13-14
Torres del Paine National Park
Location : Puerto Natales
Puerto Natales is the gateway to the world-renowned Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most attractive nature sanctuaries in the world. Its main feature is the “towers” themselves; impressive rock formations, called “Torres del Paine” (Towers of Paine). The formations are made up of the Torre Central (9,186 feet high), Torre Sur (9,350 feet) and Torre Norte (7,375 feet). The park features azure lakes, trails that meander through emerald forests, roaring rivers, (which you’ll cross on rickety bridges) and one big, radiant blue glacier.

Torres del Paine hosts stunning variety, from the vast open steppe to rugged mountain terrain topped by looming peaks. This diversity of environments here has led to the flourish of a wide variety of a fauna and flora. While we are here you might see llamas, pumas, chilla foxes and skunks in addition to more than 100 species of birds like the Andean condor and black-chested buzzard eagle. Enjoy hiking in these amazing surroundings.

DAY 15
A Small and Isolated Village at the End of the Fjord
Location : Puerto Edén
After an unforgettable cruise through Patagonian waters, the unique village of Puerto Edén will enchant you. It is a tiny settlement in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, situated at the end of a deep fjord and surrounded by mountains. Its population of 250 includes the 15 remaining members of the Kawéskar people. There are no roads, only wooden walkways, and electricity is only available during a few hours every day. Puerto Edén is a great place to experience the traditional indigenous culture of Patagonian tribes.

The villagers sell fish, mussels and shellfish products, which are taken to markets by a weekly transport boat. For souvenirs, buy traditional Kawéskar crafts such as wicker baskets and boats made from sea lion skins and tree bark. Enjoy a stroll among the laneways, and maybe you will spot one of the many Magellan hummingbirds found here when you join the Expedition team for hiking or kayaking.

DAY 16
Waters of Patagonia
Location : At Sea
The expedition continues north through the fabled waters of Patagonia. As we sail through iconic Andean seascapes, you have plenty of time to gaze out on the magnificent natural expanse. There might also be trivia contests covering questions about explorer history and Antarctic wildlife. We might also hold auctions to raise money for specific causes. These on board auctions have contributed to the most ambitious habitat restoration project on Earth; South Georgia, protection of the Albatross and maintenance of research stations in Antarctica. With the help of our guests, we will continue to raises funds and awareness of opportunities and challenges in the areas we visit.

DAY 17
Cosmopolitan Castro
Location : Castro
Located on Isla Grande de Chiloé, Castro is set among windswept hills and green vegetation. The city is known for its colourful “palafitos”, wooden houses mounted on stilts along the water’s edge. Come ashore and enjoy the local Chilote character and curious energy, mixed with a dash of modern development. The Iglesia San Francisco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church is a visual delight: bright yellow and orange with a lavender trim. The varnished-wood interior is stunning, illuminated by rows of stained-glass windows. Other sights include Plazuela del Tren, a small plaza right by the waterfront with an odd collection of old trains. A stroll in the Cementerio Parroquial is fascinating, as some of the tombs are quite grand and ornately decorated. Feria Campesina Yumbel is a bustling fruit and vegetable market. There are also household goods and fish stalls here. In the shop Feria Artesanal Lillo, located just south of the port, you can buy excellent hand-knit woolen goods and handicrafts. Most of the restaurants and cafes in Castro are concentrated along the Calle Blanco, running from the southern end of the plaza down to the waterfront, and this is where you can get a taste of the renowned meat, potato and seafood stew, curanto.

Close to the town is Chiloé National Park, a largely unexplored wilderness hosting rare flora and fauna. The park features wide deserted beaches and long stretches of rugged coastline, and is home to dozens of seabird species, penguins and sea lions.

DAY 18-19
Sailing North
Location : At Sea
Heading towards Valparaiso for our last two days at sea, you have the chance to relax and enjoy the deep relaxation of a day at sea. On board, the Expedition Team will entertain you with stories of the area, help you to plan your next exploration with the MS Fram or show you an interesting creature or two under the microscope.

DAY 20
The “Jewel Of The Pacific”
Location : Valparaíso, Chile
Sadly, every expedition must come to an end. This voyage ends in the wonderful, colorful and poetic city of Valparaíso. One of the best ways to see this scenic town is through its funiculars. These constructions, which are scattered around the entire natural amphitheater surrounding the city, allow sweeping views of the bay, and highlight the multi-hued houses, creating a rainbow of colour and light.

Stroll Valparaíso’s narrow streets, climb its endless staircases and discover something new at every turn: a beautiful building, a remarkable art gallery or some little gastronomic ‘find’. Don’t forget to explore the port and fishing piers, where you’ll get a real feel for Chile’s quirky seafaring side. Buy or sample freshly caught seafood at the market and enjoy the fishermen’s banter. We also recommend a visit to the UNESCO-listed Historic Quarter.

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